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Archive for the ‘A Little Cheese To Go With That Whine?’ Category

If there’s one thing I wish I were, it’s a better cook.  I like the idea of cooking and I like all the gadgets.  But, I just don’t do a lot of it.  Partly, that’s because as a single girl who lives alone, it hasn’t always felt worth it to cook big meals from scratch with premade spaghetti sauce and some noodles will do.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t cook for friends, or now especially, for My Guy.

Last night, I took a cooking class with the Domestic Goddess.  Cook extraordinaire (the woman makes her own baklava instead of just buying it), I was a little intimidated.  She assured me not to worry, as she has never been a self-proclaimed Domestic Goddess, only a Cheryl-proclaimed one.

I’ve taken classes at this establishment before.  I’ve always enjoyed them.  And while I enjoyed this class, and some of the recipes, and hanging out with the Domestic Goddess, well I have never received so much slack for my eating preferences before.  And it? Was kind of annoying.  So annoying that at one point I turned to Domestic Goddess and whined a bit.

It started out with a girl who, well to be frank, was a little annoying.  DG insists she was drinking before class (wherein we were all free to order wine).  I insisted she was just, kind of odd.  Like she didn’t want to cook or try anything.  Why one goes to a cooking class if one doesn’t want to cook is a bit of a mystery. She only wanted to do one thing, carve a chicken.  But more on that later.

It was a chicken-themed class, and one of the sides to one of the dishes was a prosciutto salad.  Let me lay it on the line for you all: I don’t eat beef or pork because I don’t like them.  I just don’t like pork and I don’t like red meat as I stated a few posts ago: bloody=yuck to me.

And so I skipped the salad.  The instructor asked why and I explained I don’t eat pork.  Now, most people take it in stride when I tell them that.  Especially because it’s just a personal preference.  I’m not avoiding beef and pork because of animal rights–I still eat poultry and fish, after all.  I don’t even care if people grill them together or use the same utensils on them.  I’m never one to inconvenience others by my preferences, meat or otherwise.  So usually it just comes up as more of an interesting fact about Cheryl and we all move on.

Last night, annoying girl heard me say I don’t eat pork and asked “Are you Muslim?”  I admit, I was taken aback by the statement.  No one has EVER asked that.  I have rarely been asked if I’m Jewish.  And honestly, that makes more sense to me.  I guess I think I probably look more ethnically Jewish than ethnically Muslim.  But whatevs.  That’s neither here nor there.  I just wonder why, not eating pork brings someone to an assumption that it has anything to do with religion.  Ok, I can see why because it was clear that I do eat chicken, thus I wasn’t vegetarian but still.

And if it were related to religious beliefs, why a total stranger in a cooking class I’ve spoken about 10 words to in the hour and a half I’ve been sitting next to her feels the need to ask me anything about religion at all is beyond me.  I also didn’t know how to read her.  Would it have been a problem with her if I were Muslim?  In hindsight I almost want to go back say “yes I am,” and throw out the takbir just to see her reaction.  But I digress.

Later as the annoying girl carved the chicken she asked if anyone had preference to white or dark meat.  Now look, EVERYONE I know has a preference for poultry.  White or dark meat, some prefer a wing over a leg.  This is not new, in fact it’s why she asked.  I said I prefer white and after all the fuss (theirs not mine) over pork, was asked by the instructor if I’m a chicken racist. It was a joke, I know (not a good one, really).  But oy! Never have I felt so scrutinized over my eating preferences.  All I’m saying is, it’s a good thing we weren’t having beets.

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So yeah, I took down my ranty post about my apartment.  People with Bloglines or Google Reader can probably still see it.  But even with the update I put on the end, it didn’t seem right to keep it there. 

Anyway, this morning there was a sign on the door to my building saying roaches had been reported and we should call to make an exterminator appointment.  This following mice and not having heat earlier this year, and my realization that no, I can’t live with just one closet.  But anyway, I got upset because I can’t handle cockroaches or centipedes.  I’m good with most other bugs–good as in, I can handle them.  If I can kill it with a shoe and it’s not actually  on me, I’m ok. 

I never saw a roach, or signs of roaches.  After the mice scare I still check my foodstuffs for gnawing and infestation.  Turns out a tenant want to break her lease so she’s crying “Cockroach” as her gameplan.  Exterminators found nothing–no roaches, no evidence of roaches, no source of roaches.  Now that does make me mad.  Freaking sublet your apartment!  Don’t scare other tenants with false claims about potential vermin.  Sheesh!

Anyway, back to a happy 2009!

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Driving to Minnesota is one thing in the summer. And even then it’s almost unbearable. Driving to Minnesota in the winter is bound to make me gray, or bald. I’m not sure which would be worse–obviously bald, I could dye gray hair. Anyway, I thought the eight hour drive back to Chicago in snow at Thanksgiving was bad. But yesterday’s drive, while it took less time, was just all around ugly.

I woke up at 7:45 or so and saw a sunny, nearly cloudless sky. That seemed to bode well for me since I’d wanted to avoid snow on the trip. I began checking online and it seemed I may not encounter snow until about 3/4 of the way there. So after some hemming and hawing I decided to go for it. Therein began my journey of epic proportions. Ok, it wasn’t an Odyssey or anything like that.

First, I had to get my car, which on Tuesday, you may recall, I moved to a non snow route. I stepped outside into bitter, painful cold conditions. We’re talking snot-freezing cold, with wind that cuts through you. I got to my car, covered in snow after two rounds of snowfall, and now frozen. In fact, the lock to my driver’s door was frozen and wouldn’t unlock. Which meant I had to climb in from the passenger side. I blasted the defrost and cleaned off the car as best as I could, drove to the alley behind my building, loaded up, drove to Starbucks for my coffee and breakfast sandwich and I was off. I did all of that climbing in and out of the passenger door.

You know how when your car is frozen like that, with ice on the hood and windshield, it will melt once the engine gets hot and the defrost kicks in? Well when you car arrives in Minnesota, seven hours later, still frozen, you know it’s cold outside!

My first indication that this might not be a normal drive where my car might “thaw” was when I got to my first toll booth. At this point my car had been running for a good 30 minutes and should be warming up. I pulled up to pay (I must get an iPass) and hit the button to make my window go down. Nothing. It was frozen shut. Normally I’d open the door, but that frozen lock? Yeah it was still frozen. So I pulled up, got the back window opened and apologized to the attendant as I wrenched around my headrest and handed him a dollar. He seemed unfazed. But I’m betting he’s seen some pretty weird shit on that job.

Finally my door and window gave in to the heat and I was able to pay my tolls normally and use my driver’s door for the rest of the trip. Which was good. Because as I drove along the dirty, wintery interstate, my windshield got really gross. So, I went to spritz them with wiper fluid. Only to have nothing come out. Because the nozzles were covered in ice, ice that you may recall wasn’t melting away despite the big old engine whirring beneath. Oh, and my windows were a frosty mess.

I made my first stop for gas, tried to chip away at the nozzles and got them clear and grabbed the little squeegee to clean my windshield. Except? It was so cold in Beloit Wisconsin that the blue fluid was frozen shut. So I cursingly bought wiper fluid inside the stations, doused my windshield and I was off. Because despite clearing off the nozzles, they still weren’t working.

As I headed toward Madison, I noticed my car was making creaking noises in the cold. I honestly thought it was going to start falling apart and I’d end up driving a car like Chris Farley and David Spade in Tommy Boy. Although regardless of the state of my car, I would NOT be belting out Superstar by the Carpenters.

Anyhoo, I had to keep pulling over to douse my windshield because the fluid never came. I even, at one stop, checked to make sure the fluid was full. And it was, which I was confident was the case. At one such stop, where the squeegees were mercifully in a slushy mixture and thus usable, I went inside to buy a driving snack and heard a woman asking how much a paper funnel was, to which the clerk responded free. As I went up to pay, the clerk looked at me, then the women out by her white Jeep and said, “She just asked where the wiper fluid goes. I hope she’s not putting it where the radiator fluid needs to be.” “Really?” I asked incredulously. Because even I know that one. It goes in the reservoir marked for wiper fluid and/or with a picture of a windshield on it. “I hope she’s not traveling alone,” I added. Luckily a customer was helping her. And as I left she came in and asked where the Starbucks was.

So after I resigned myself to a messy windshield (difficult for me, dirty windshields drive me crazy) and a frozen car, you’d think the trip would have gotten better. But then came the black ice, coupled with gusty winds. And my SUV,–prone to tipping over–began to do mini-fishtails at 50 miles per hour. That is some scary shit, let me tell you. Especially on a bridge.

Finally, there was the sign, welcoming me to Minnesota, and from there it’s a matter of 20 minutes to my mom’s. Which I made handily. I had begged her for a night in the garage, and I found my sister’s car in the driveway. But the thing is, it’s still really cold, and even now my car is a vision in snow and ice. Because currently it’s -11, with an even worse windchill. Thanks so much arctic winds.

Anyway, I’m holing up inside today, giving me plenty of laundry and blogging time. What a vacay! Happy Christmas week you all. Oh, and I’m sorry if you, like me, are now singing, “Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby!” My bad.

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First of all, I owe someone an apology.  I had said that I thought I answered all my questions, but I know someone asked me about the title to one of my posts.  See, the thing is that they’ve all had musical inspiration since I ditched the Friends-inspired “The One With/Where…” titles in early June.

So I went back and forth about whether to play Name That Tune or not, whether to have a post identifying the songs, debating if I should put together a playlist of the songs.  In the end my indecisiveness had to end (it inevitably does so you’d think I’d remember that and make decisions sooner) and I didn’t post anything about the music that has inspired me of late.  So, anyway, Kenneth, the title to July 7’s post, “Maybe a Prostitute Could Teach You How to Take a Compliment” is a lyric from the song Flamenco by The Tragically Hip.

I’m sorry to the Chinese restaurant who keeps calling me.  No, I didn’t order any food.  No, I’m not Renee.  I’m sorry the driver and I couldn’t communicate well enough to get that point across.  However, should you absolutely need a person to eat that food, and it doesn’t contain beef or pork, let me know if I can help.  Since you keep calling me and all.

Moving on, I have a final apology.  Cause yeah, I’m about to start a little rant.  To buyers on Craigslist, cause damn!  I’m never trying to sell anything on that godforsaken site again! When my grandmother was living in her assisted living facility, she had to maintain a certain  (low) balance in her bank account for, well to be frank, for reasons I never fully understood, because honestly, I wish I had that problem.  So my mom or aunts would have to go buy her stuff once in a while which, given the fact that my grandmother was part of the Greatest Generation and still smarting from the Great Depression, was challenging.

One time my aunt  bought her a really nice, flat screen TV.  Long story short(er), when my grandma died in June, my uncle declared I should get the TV, seeing as how I just got a new apartment and was starting in a fairly new job, etc.  So the thing about getting a new (awesome) TV is that you can’t just throw the other one out.  And the old one is a perfectly good, 27″ color TV, cable-ready with two AV inputs.  I figured who wouldn’t want to buy it for $20?

Well a lot of people want to buy it for $20.  Except they also want things like for me to deliver it (hello. we are not an electronic superstore, which half the time doesn’t deliver either) or apparently sit around all day waiting for them to pick it up.  Cause yeah, I don’t have a life or anything.  Seriously, what is WRONG with people.  It’s a nice TV for $20.  Take it or leave it.  And either way, leave your demands out of it…

PS>I did, in fact, sell it yesterday night to someone who was supposed to come get in Sunday morning, but with it out of my hands and $20 in them, I’m over it.

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Sunday morning I woke up with a killer sore throat.  And proceeded to spend a majority of my day sleeping either in bed or on my couch.  Yesterday I discovered I couldn’t really talk while I was at work, was sent home early and proceeded to spend the remainder of my afternoon and evening…sleeping in my bed or on my couch.  Thrilling, eh?

I haven’t really been able to swallow.  It’s made for an interesting though not needed diet.  So, this morning when I woke up with little change I decided it was time to go to the doctor.  As I prepared myself for the doctor, and google chatted with a friend (cause even if the voice isn’t working, the typing is) we came to this conclusion: we want lollipops.  I mean come on.  Like we  hit a certain age and don’t want lollipops?  Like we adults don’t go through some pretty uncomfortable things at the doctor’s office?  Like a shot doesn’t still hurt?

Sure, we don’t throw a fit, or need to be told to be brave, but come on.  Where is the lollipop love?

I went to my appointment and as I sat in reception heard a small child who was NOT happy about being at the doctor.  Really not happy.  So not happy that those of us in reception caught each other’s eyes and the receptionist tsk-tsked over him. I bet he got two lollipops.

I was called back, examined, examined again, examined a third time (physician’s assistant, medical student, actual doctor) and had strep swabs jammed down my throat.  “Any weight loss?”  “Well I haven’t really eaten in three days, so yeah, probably.” Then I found out, they think I have strep and that instead of getting a prescription I could get a shot of penicillin in my hip.  Which, considering I can’t really swallow water right now, is a good thing.

As I waited for my shot, I heard in the next room a little boy getting a shot, and screaming.  And his parents telling him he was doing so good.  And when it was over, I heard the nurse talking about the lollipops.  Guess what I got when my shot was done?  A sore hip.

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Thanks all for your sentiments on my 3:30 wakeup. I wish I could tell you it’s over or better. Truth is, I’m exhausted. Because as you know, I got up at 3:30 on Friday, then at 5:00 on Sunday, then at 3:30 again today.

It’s for work. I’m not going into much more detail than that. I’m just here to whine.

Oh, and I found a great apartment this weekend…only to have someone beat me to it. So, yeah.

Please, feel sorry for me. Because after all that–I have to drive through Wisconsin this weekend. And the only thing worse than driving through Wisconsin is driving through Ohio.

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Y’all, I have some bones to pick with the universe. Ok, not the universe, but certain members of it. But first, some apologies. Please forgive my absence of late.

I was thrown with the whole moving thing. I am the type of person who gets overwhelmed and flustered easily. This is no exception. My mind became so addled that this weekend, I could barely function at Trader Joe’s. Which is saying a lot, because it’s not a huge store with endless possibilities. There is pretty much two kinds of milk, one kind of spaghetti, etc. Yet I got home, shook my head and wondered “What did I BUY?”  Ok, I guess I have a bone to pick with me.

Yet as the universe will do, all is righting itself. Especially in other areas. Which helps. Oh how it helps.

More bones.

This morning my iPod earbuds broke. The left one literally fell apart as the front fell off in my hand and even though I snapped it back on, silence in my left ear. So I went online to order new ones. They cost $29.00. $29 for some plastic that is obviously cheap enough to fall apart in my hands after less than two years….what?! Apple, are you trying to tell me that with you big ol’ stock price you can’t lower the price of earbuds? I mean a freakin’ shuffle is $49. Are you saying the device itself is only worth $20! It costs less than the damn earbuds?!?!

People listing apartments on Craigslist and property management companies should take note. A studio is NOT a one bedroom. It’s a studio. One bedroom means it has one bedroom. Bed. ROOM. Another room. With four walls. Maybe even a door. An apartment that is one large room for living and sleeping, even if the sleeping area is lofted or tucked away is still a studio. And when you know it’s a studio, if you say so right in your ad, quit wasting everyone else’s time by saying it’s a one bedroom in the headline or posting title. I reiterate the original point: studio one bedroom.

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